A new survey suggests that about half of the American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory.
For instance, 37 percent of the Americans believe in the theory that the US regulators prevent people from getting natural cures, while 12 percent also believe that a US spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The study, titled 'Medical Conspiracy Theories and Health Behaviors in the United States' and conducted by University of Chicago, said people may believe in conspiracy theories since they are easier to understand than the complex medical information.
"Science in general- medicine in particular - is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty," J Eric Oliver, the study's lead author from University of Chicago, told Reuters.
"To talk about epidemiology and probability theories is difficult to understand as opposed to 'if you put this substance in your body, it's going to be bad," he said.
For the study, researchers used data from 1,351 adults who answered an online survey between Ausust and September 2013. The data reportedly were balanced to represent the US population.
The participants read six popular medical conspiracy theories and indicated if they had heard of them, and also whether they agreed or disagreed with them.
Here is the list of the six conspiracy theories and the percentage of response. The information was retrieved from the research information found online:
|Medical Conspiracy Theories||Heard Before||Agree||Neither Agree nor Disagree||Disagree|
|US regulators prevent people from getting natural cures||63||37||31||32|
|Health officials know cell phones cause cancer but they don't do anything as corporations won't let them||57||20||40||40|
|CIA infected large number of African Americans with HIV||32||12||37||51|
|Global dissemination of genetically modified foods by Monsanto Inc is part of a secret program called Agenda 21, launched by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations to shrink the world's population||19||20||36||44|
|Doctors and government still want to vaccinate children even though they know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders||69||20||36||44|
|Public water fluoridation is really just a secret way for chemical companies to dump the dangerous byproducts of phosphate mines into the environment||25||12||41||46|